Shutter Island Characters

Shutter Island Character List

Teddy Daniels

Teddy is the main character in the book. A decorated soldier, he is a US Marshall dispatched to Shutter Island by Senator Hurly to investigate what is really going on there and also to help with the search for a patient who has gone missing. Teddy also has a motive of his own in visiting the island; he wants to find a patient called Andrew Laeddis who was responsible for killing Teddy's wife, Delores. Teddy misses Delores in an almost impossible to cope with way but dreams about her almost every night and still uses what he thinks she would do in certain situations as his guide.

For most of his adult life Teddy was a soldier of some description but found himself a changed man after being part of the liberation force at Dachau concentration camp. The prisoners there had been tortured in the most brutal and atrocious way and the soldiers who liberated the camp and saw this with their own eyes had no qualms about lining up the SS officers responsible and shooting them. Later, though, Teddy felt guilt about shooting unarmed men and decided that in the future he would shoot to kill only if his own life depended on it.

Throughout the novel Teddy appears to be a diligent and skilled investigator. He reads people well and carries what he sees through to their logical conclusion. It is very easy to see why he believes something dangerous and underhanded is going on which is why it is very difficult to believe Dr Cawley's assertion that he is in fact Andrew Laeddis and was in fact committed to Shutter Island himself two years previously for killing his wife after she murdered their three children. Rachel Salando, the "missing patient", is a character he has created because he is unable to accept what Delores did and overwhelmed with guilt about his failure to take her mental problems seriously. He has apparently been carrying on the same charade since his arrival.

Andrew Laeddis

Andrew Laeddis killed Teddy's wife Delores with apparently no motive. He is the mysterious untraceable prisoner for whom Teddy is searching. Dr Cawley asserts that Teddy and Laeddis are one and the same and part of an elaborate fiction created by Andrew because he could not come to terms with having killed his wife after she murdered their three children. Andrew is a delusional man who believes everything he is saying and whose grasp of actual facts only comes to him in dreams.

Delores Chanal Davidson/Laeddis

From Teddy's recollections of Delores we learn that she was captivating and that he knew she was "the one" the moment he set eyes on her. Delores is very attractive, a little bit emotional and somewhat needy. From Dr Cawley we learn that Delores was bipolar with huge swings between euphoria and depression and that she drowned all three of their children before sitting them dead around the breakfast table having list her mind all together. Delores was murdered by Andrew Laeddis or killed out of anguish by Teddy/Laeddis.

Rachel Solando

Rachel is the escaped patient that Teddy and Chuck are looking for. She murdered her children and was subsequently committed to Shutter Island for treatment. She seems to be leaving clues and coded messages for Teddy to both her whereabouts and to the evidence he needs to prove that illicit torture and experimentation is going on.Her picture shows her to be incredibly beautiful. Rachel turns out to be entirely fictional, her name being an anagram of Delores' and her existence Teddy's fabrication.

Chuck Aule aka Dr Sheehan

Chuck, unknown to Teddy before the novel begins, claims to be a US Marshal although he is unable to recal men that Teddy knew who worked out of the Seattle office with him. He has very small, delicate hands that seem incongruous until he reveals himself to be Dr Sheehan, the missing doctor said to have headed to the mainland on vacation. Chuck appears to be on Teddy's side and to genuinely have his back, but is actually telling Dr Cawley everything Teddy has confided and everything that happens during their investigation. Chuck has an easy, genial way with him that makes him "one of the boys" and allows him to banter in a way that would be inappropriate coming from anyone else.Chuck's job is to keep tabs on Teddy and he also is his doctor when Teddy/Andrew is on Shutter Island.

Dr Cawley

Dr Cawley is Chief Of Staff at Shutter Island and is very proud of the experimental psychiatry they are doing there. Since most of it appears to involve heavily administering hallucinogens in order to make patients admit their crimes to themselves, it is somewhat controversial and shrouded in secrecy. Consequently when it fails the patient in question is either done away with or confined to a solitary area in a straitjacket before undergoing lobotomy surgery. Although Cawley claims to be anti-surgery, and merely out-voted regarding its use, it is hard to believe that he is not fully supportive of it because it allows his failures to be hidden and his program to continue. He is an intelligent man who has all the answers and all of the power when it comes to declaring a patient sane or not. He seems to have more affection for his car than for other people and is distraught when Teddy sets it on fire as a diversion.

George Noyce

George Noyce was a patient on Shutter Island before getting transferred out. Once away from the island he began talking about the experiments being performed there and highlighting the lack of accountability. He was then seen as a problem and transferred right back to Shutter Island where Teddy finds him battered and bruised after having been beaten up by Andrew Laeddis.

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